CorelDraw Alternatives: 5 Free Or Affordable Vector Drawing Programs

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Written By Sam Davis Ph.D.

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CorelDraw is a popular vector drawing software, but it can be expensive for small businesses and individuals. Especially if you moved to CorelDraw from Gravit Designer. If you are looking for an alternative to CorelDraw, there are several free options available that can do everything that CorelDraw does. In this blog post, we will discuss five of the best vector drawing software programs on the market today!

Vector graphics art is scalable to just about any size: really really big, or really really small. With vector art, you avoid the pixelation problem that you see so often on images. But vector art can sometimes be more challenging to draw. These vector graphics editor alternatives will help you get the job done without relying on expensive software.

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Understanding the field of vector graphics design

There are two major competitors for vector graphics with professional tools: Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw. Corel tends to capture CAD and 3D designers, whereas Adobe Illustrator tends to capture artists because of its strong link to Adobe Photoshop.

Both of these professional tools rely on subscriptions to power their software and company. In other words, you'll be paying a monthly fee for either working in the Corel Draw or Adobe systems. With many of us trying to keep our costs down during vector graphics editing, searching out free and affordable alternatives to CorelDraw is key.

If I'm not a graphic designer, do I need a CorelDraw Alternative?

Even if you're not a professional artist, finding an intuitive interface is important. Graphic designers of all skill levels will eventually need to do some vector graphics editing, even if it's just to make a logo or an avatar. The software we list below can do that and more, so don't feel left out if you're not in the market for professional vector art tools.

So what are some good CorelDraw Alternatives?

There are a lot of drawing tools out there for creating vector graphics. Ultimately, it comes down to how much you like the user interface, and whether or not you also need sketching tools. The basic features of a vector graphics editor are :

  • Drawing Tools
  • Path Editing Tools
  • Text Editing Tools
  • Fill and Stroke Options

Other things you might consider in your CorelDraw alternative include considering the operating system, and how accessible the programming code is. For Mac OS users, it can be somewhat limiting to find a great vector graphics editor. Many graphic designers prefer Mac OS because most programs have an intuitive interface.

The other thing to consider is how much you value a open source graphics editor. Not every free option lets you see or add to programming algorithms, so you'll want to stick to Inkscape (below) if you want to be in full control of your graphic design software.

Best CorelDraw Alternatives Listed In Order Of Price

Totally Free: Inkscape

Inkscape is an open source graphic design software for vector graphics that is available on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. The start of the show is vector design – you can open any SVG you have and start editing it.

You don't have to be a graphic designer to use Inkscape. It's marketed as a vector drawing software, but it also does very limited raster graphics (JPEGs, PNGs, etc). So if you're just looking for something to make simple edits to logos, Inkscape will be a great choice for you with vector design. The user interface is “old school” but it's definitely still useable.

Totally Free: Autodesk Sketchbook

I really love Authodesk Sketchbook. It's available on Chromebooks, tablets, and from the Windows app store. It really introduced me to my love of digital drawing. It's not a true CorelDraw alternative because it is more focused on raster design, but I simply love the program, and couldn't leave it off the list. I've used it for web graphics, editing clipart objects, and more.

Sketchbook is definitely marketed at artists and it has a wide variety of brushes, pens, and pencils to choose from. If you're looking for something more akin to CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator, Sketchbook might not be the best fit for you. The user interface is intuitive and easy to use – perfect for anyone just getting started. It has limited vector design tools, but it's great for advanced editing after your vector elements are done.

Freemium: Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer is available as a paid or free program. It exists on the web, meaning that you can access your vector assets from just about anywhere.

Gravit Designer has a really modern user interface and packs a lot of vector design features into its free version. It's one of the more intuitive CorelDraw alternatives I've used, and it has a wide range of export options – perfect for sending your work to a professional printer. If graphic designing is your passion, give Gravit a try. You won't be disappointed.

One time price: Affinity Designer

Behind Autodesk Sketchbook, Affinity Designer is my number one tool of choice for projects like these. It's a great CorelDraw alternative because it is a one time affordable fee. The software developers are very involved, and they've crafted a user-friendly interface that isn't at all alien to people who use graphic design programs.

It's also got a tight integration with Publisher and Photo, Affinity's other programs. It has advanced features, custom brushes, and just about everything you need to add complex elements to your art. It also has a Mac OS version and works cross platform – even on tablets!

Monthly subscription: Adobe Illustrator

Ah yes, Adobe Illustrator. The only reason that Adobe products are on this list is because the software meets a lot of business requirements. Adobe can handle complex designs and overall, is a powerful tool for many artists. There are probably entire websites dedicated to Illustrator alternatives, but some people just need to go with the real thing.

That said, the monthly subscription can be a bit of a turn-off for some people. The software can also be difficult to learn, and it definitely takes a lot of time to get used to the interface. It's definitely not for beginners. But if you're looking for something with more features than Sketchbook or Inkscape, and Affinity doesn't appeal to you – you're left with Adobe.

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